SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Which agent?

Discussion started on

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region midatlantic
LOVE Query Shark! Great place to learn!

WhatAmIDoing, fear not.  I sold a PB with about 5 sentences.

Dear (Specific person spelled correctly):

TITLE is a ### word PB about (hook)

This will be my debut PB. I am a member of SCBWI.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
June Smalls

We stress so much over making it perfect but keep it simple and let your story sell itself.  Get critiques for sure! Nothing beats a good critique on you manuscript and your query letter.

Best of Luck!
#31 - February 03, 2015, 09:49 AM
Odd Animal ABC's (Blue Manatee, 4-2-19)
She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch (Familius, Spring 2020)

Official Shenaniganizer
Emeritus
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadawest
I think maybe what Mike really needs is a doughnut. Here , Mike.  :donut2 *pats Mike on head* There ya go.  :grin3

And What, I had absolutely NO relevant credentials or experience. No online presence AT ALL (I do now, but when I was querying I did not). So yeah, I agree it's about the story. A carefully crafted query letter will show that you can form coherent, grammatically correct sentences. I tried to keep the majority of my neuroses out of the letter, though. Not as easy as it sounds, actually.  :crazy
#32 - February 03, 2015, 10:27 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
@cynmarko

Thanks, guys.  I like the idea of limiting the 'about me' portion as you indicated, June, since there really is nothing about me that is really interesting or relevant.  I'm sure an agent would appreciate an economical use of words in a picture book query letter as an indication that the book itself is similarly restrained. 
#33 - February 03, 2015, 11:02 AM

Should I move my questions somewhere else?  Like the queries board or keep them here?

I have one more....the first agent I'm planning on submitting to mentioned in an interview that one of her favorite picture book authors was Doreen Cronin.  The voice of my story reads similar to her style (tongue in cheek humor-ish that the parents can appreciate along with the kids).  Would I ever mention anything along those lines or is that a no-no?
#34 - February 03, 2015, 11:06 AM

Official Shenaniganizer
Emeritus
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadawest
Some people recommend listing comparable titles, and some agents will even ask for that to be included in the query. But I never felt comfortable doing that, because it felt icky to say, hey if you love them you'll love me. (but that's just my own hang up, a lot of people really like to include comp titles) But you can also mention Doreen Cronin in a she's an author I admire sort of way if like me you feel weird about making an actual comparison.

And your questions are fine here for now. Once you have a query you might like to share for feedback, then yes, post it on the query board. :)
#35 - February 03, 2015, 11:15 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
@cynmarko

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region iowa
That's a yes-yes. You're supposed to personalize the query for each agent, and some of them take that seriously. Why do you want him/her specifically? And they don't like you to say, Because you're breathing!, or I'm really desperate!

If you've got a ms. that reads similarly to one an agent's said she likes, you've got a way to personalize that query. Yay!

An aside: one very good agent asks why you write/why you wrote what you did. When I queried her I wrote a whole separate sheet of paper and did my best to plumb my psyche for reasons I write (and who even knows? Who even cares?) Later I read an interview with her--turns out she's just fishing for relevant experiences. So, for ex., if you wrote a book about the circus, and your name is Barnum or Bailey, that's something to bring up. She felt that a lot of writers failed to mention relevant connections between their life and work. But holy smokes, if she'd just said that I wouldn't cringe every time I think of that query.  :hiding

Editing to add: When Artemesia and I disagree, you should listen to her. She's goofy, but smart.  :grin3
#36 - February 03, 2015, 11:16 AM
Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury, July 2016)
What Goes Up (Bloomsbury, 2017)
Twitter: KatieWritesBks

I found this in something else she wrote "I’m also intrigued by salient comps to other books or hybrids when something is pitched as x meets y, since I need to do that kind of pitching a lot to hook editor interest" so I guess the comparison is a yes-yes!

#37 - February 03, 2015, 11:54 AM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region midatlantic
For comps I like to say "it will appeal to fans of x author or x story" so I'm not saying I'm the next Mo Willems but for fans of Elephant and Piggie.
#38 - February 03, 2015, 12:40 PM
Odd Animal ABC's (Blue Manatee, 4-2-19)
She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch (Familius, Spring 2020)

That makes sense, thanks!

My story is written in "conversation voice'--a term i learned from Ann Whitford Paul's book.   The first few people that reviewed my query letter were tripped up by the term.  Is this a term of art that is generally known that will be familiar to an agent?

Thanks!
#39 - February 03, 2015, 07:15 PM

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.